Vir Sanghvi has a review of When Crime Pays for the Business Standard. Here’s a brief snippet:
Vaishnav argues persuasively that the criminalization of Indian politics has many causes. In rural India parties need organizations. It is easier to co-opt local dadas and their gangs than to build new party organizations. Many of the criminals also have money. Parties are happy letting them finance their own elections and grateful for whatever money they donate to the larger campaign.
But there is also a fundamental failure of Indian democracy. The reality is that as loathsome as these criminals may be, people do vote for them. They continue to win elections. Even if the likes of [Narendra] Modi and Nitish [Kumar] are sincere about ridding politics of criminals, they need the goondas because we, the voters, like them enough to keep voting for them.
You can read the entire review here.